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Walmart plans move into sustainable beef

Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef says the retailer’s purchase commitment supports the organization’s goals.
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Walmart's plan to buy more sustainable beef represents the largest public commitment by a single retailer.
WESTERN PRODUCER — Walmart plans to buy 1.5 million pounds of sustainable beef from Canadian ranchers.

The retail giant announced Oct. 7 that it will purchase the beef over the next calendar year as part of its sustainability program.

“We’re immensely proud of what this… signifies to the industry and the impact it will have for our farmers and ranchers, customers, suppliers and partners,” Horacio Barbeito, president and chief executive officer of Walmart Canada, said in a statement. “We’re making massive strides towards advancing sustainability within the Canadian beef industry, propelled by our commitment to being a regenerative company.”

Walmart’s plan to buy more sustainable beef represents the largest public commitment by a single retailer.

The decision builds upon an earlier Walmart commitment from this spring.

In May, Walmart Canada said it would sell beef patties from farms and ranches that meet the standards of the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef.

Beef patties sold at Walmart, through its Your Fresh Market brand, now feature the CRSB Certified label.

The CRSB is a voluntary program in which beef producers can earn third-party certification for practices that are socially responsible, good for the environment, economically sound and that prioritize “the planet, people, animals and progress,” the CRSB website says.

“The standard uses an ‘outcome-based’ approach… not prescribing specific ways to achieve them,” the CRSB website. “This outcome-based model allows for the diverse ways for beef producers to demonstrate sustainable practices based on their individual operation, climate, region, soil type (and) production style.”

Walmart’s decision to buy 1.5 million lb. of CRSB beef will inspire change and support the beef sector’s “continuous improvement goals,” said Anne Wasko, CRSB chair and a rancher from Eastend, Sask.

How many CRSB beef producers are in Canada?

  • As of June 30, 2020, 1,300 farms were certified by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, a 28 percent increase from June 2019.
  • In the first 18 months of the CRSB program (ending in June 2019) 4.9 million lb. of beef were sold with the CRSB claim.
  • From July 1, 2019, to June 30, 2020, 4.8 million lb. was sold with the CRSB claim.
  • For the July 1 2020, to June 30, 2021, period, there has been substantial growth in CRSB beef production and distribution. Gordon Food Service, McDonald’s and Walmart are now selling CRSB certified beef.

Source: Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef

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